best of the WORST films according to this Wikipedia listicle

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straightforward - which of this compiled list of some of the worst films of all time in terms of critical reception...is actually the most defensible of the bunch.

I left out Manos: The Hands of Fate and Plan 9 from Outer Space cos honestly these have a lot of ironic goodwill at this point and thanks to Rifftrax/MST3K are known more for that nowadays. also left out Heaven's Gate since it's gone under late era reappraisal. and a few others to get the list under 50

Poll Results

OptionVotes
Ishtar (1987) 8
Mommie Dearest (1981) 6
The Apple (1980) 4
Exorcist II: The Heretic (1977) 2
Myra Breckinridge (1970) 2
Fatal Deviation (1998) 2
The Incredibly Strange Creatures Who Stopped Living and Became Mixed-Up Zombies (1964) 2
Sex Lives of the Potato Men (2004) 1
Hobgoblins (1988) 1
Things (1989) 1
North (1994) 1
Cats (2019) 1
Guardians (2017) 1
Highlander II: The Quickening (theatrical version, 1991) 1
Robot Monster (1953) 1
Caligula (1979) 1
Five Maidens from Outer Space (1956) 1
Maniac (1934) 1
Swept Away (2002) 0
Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever (2002) 0
Titanic: The Legend Goes On (2000) 0
Ben and Arthur (2002) 0
Catwoman (2004) 0
365 Days (2020) 0
United Passions (2014) 0
Humshakals (2014) 0
Run for Your Wife (2012) 0
The Last Airbender (2010) 0
Aag (2007) 0
Alone in the Dark (2005) 0
Daniel – Der Zauberer (Daniel – The Wizard) (2004) 0
The Avengers (1998) 0
Dis – en historie om kjærlighet (A Story About Love) (1995) 0
The Terror of Tiny Town (1938) 0
The Babe Ruth Story (1948) 0
No Orchids for Miss Blandish (1948) 0
The Creeping Terror (1964) 0
A Place for Lovers (1968) 0
They Saved Hitler's Brain (1968) 0
Bat Pussy (circa 1973) 0
Zaat (1971) 0
An American Hippie in Israel (1972) 0
At Long Last Love (theatrical version, 1975) 0
The Swarm (1978) 0
Inchon (1981) 0
Tarzan, the Ape Man (1981) 0
Dünyayı Kurtaran Adam (The Man Who Saves the World) (1982) 0
The Conqueror (1956) 0
Nukie (1987) 0
Reefer Madness (1936) 0


ain't nothin but a brie thing, baby (Neanderthal), Thursday, 2 May 2024 15:37 (one month ago) link

Assuming Ishtar will run away with this in this crowd

G. D’Arcy Cheesewright (silby), Thursday, 2 May 2024 15:41 (one month ago) link

The Apple is dope

ain't nothin but a brie thing, baby (Neanderthal), Thursday, 2 May 2024 15:46 (one month ago) link

I enjoyed the Incredibly Strange Creatures...

Never fight uphill 'o me, boys! (President Keyes), Thursday, 2 May 2024 15:50 (one month ago) link

The Babe Ruth Story is the one I'm most excited to watch. I wish biopics were more like this - fantastical, nonsensical bullshit only tangentially related to the subject, instead of Wikipedia articles with dramatic embellishments.

ain't nothin but a brie thing, baby (Neanderthal), Thursday, 2 May 2024 15:56 (one month ago) link

like it'd be like if, years from now, The Lebron James Story comes out, and he gets mugged in an alley at age 9 but he kills his attacker with a basketball and begins to play immediately after that

ain't nothin but a brie thing, baby (Neanderthal), Thursday, 2 May 2024 15:57 (one month ago) link

Things is a really remarkable experience, never seen anything quite like it.

JoeStork, Thursday, 2 May 2024 15:58 (one month ago) link

I think I've seen part of Highlander II when it played on TV sometime in the 90s, seemed ok. I watched maybe 15 minutes of Caligula when I stumbled upon it on a streaming service years ago, did not like. I have a still unopened DVD of Reefer Madness which I bought for something like 3$ ~20 years ago. The rest I've not seen.

silverfish, Thursday, 2 May 2024 16:02 (one month ago) link

has ANYBODY seen the Uma Thurman Avengers?

ain't nothin but a brie thing, baby (Neanderthal), Thursday, 2 May 2024 16:03 (one month ago) link

An American Hippie in Israel very relevant right now

Never fight uphill 'o me, boys! (President Keyes), Thursday, 2 May 2024 16:06 (one month ago) link

I've only seen like four of these: Reefer Madness (my parents took me and my brother to a drive-in that was showing this on a double feature with Up In Smoke, and I saw it again as a teenager), Caligula, Mommie Dearest (it was on HBO a lot when I was at a babysitter's house as a kid) and Highlander II.

Instead of create and send out, it pull back and consume (unperson), Thursday, 2 May 2024 16:07 (one month ago) link

I in fact own Maniac and it is...something.

Ned Raggett, Thursday, 2 May 2024 16:12 (one month ago) link

Exorcist II the heretic

subpost master (wins), Thursday, 2 May 2024 16:14 (one month ago) link

need a list of the ones which had a butthole cut

mark s, Thursday, 2 May 2024 16:16 (one month ago) link

Caligula probably had one

ain't nothin but a brie thing, baby (Neanderthal), Thursday, 2 May 2024 16:16 (one month ago) link

The Apple is dope

― ain't nothin but a brie thing, baby (Neanderthal), Thursday, May 2, 2024 3:46 PM (twenty-five minutes ago)


otm, I felt personally attacked seeing it on this list

The king of the demo (bernard snowy), Thursday, 2 May 2024 16:19 (one month ago) link

Robot Monster, The Apple, Dünyayı Kurtaran Adam/The Man Who Saves the World/Turkish Star Wars, and Things are probably objectively terrible but I kind of love them all. As JoeStork notes, Things in particular is so unlike any other film I've ever seen that it's basically outsider art and therefore brilliant, actually.

Great-Tasting Burger Perceptions (Old Lunch), Thursday, 2 May 2024 16:22 (one month ago) link

has ANYBODY seen the Uma Thurman Avengers?

― ain't nothin but a brie thing, baby (Neanderthal), Thursday, May 2, 2024 11:03 AM

Yeah, when it came out. I remember it being bad and forgettable, not so bad it was memorable.

Ippei's on a bummer now (WmC), Thursday, 2 May 2024 16:29 (one month ago) link

i can enjoy The Conqueror but it's not good

Bitchin Doutai (Noodle Vague), Thursday, 2 May 2024 16:38 (one month ago) link

I don’t have any big problem with Ishtar which has some lols, or with Mommie Dearest tbh.

Josefa, Thursday, 2 May 2024 16:39 (one month ago) link

having lots of theater friends, they used to have Mommie Dearest watch parties

RICH BRIAN (Neanderthal), Thursday, 2 May 2024 16:44 (one month ago) link

Ah damn I voted Ishtar before seeing the Apple was on the list, definitely would have voted for that. But my wife makes a case that the first 20 minutes or so of Ishtar is CLASSIC and the rest is only medium-bad, I think she has a point. The set-up and intro of their characters and partnership could have been the start of a much better movie before '80s Hollywood happened to it.

I really do not get the disdain for The Apple. If you vibe with the slew of weird-ass musicals released in the late '70s/early '80s, there's no reason you shouldn't be able to find a spot in your heart for 90 minutes of Menahem Golan's coke psychosis.

Great-Tasting Burger Perceptions (Old Lunch), Thursday, 2 May 2024 16:47 (one month ago) link

It's great! I mean, it's a legitimately bonkers artistic vision. Almost outsider art.

The Babe Ruth Story is the one I'm most excited to watch. I wish biopics were more like this - fantastical, nonsensical bullshit only tangentially related to the subject, instead of Wikipedia articles with dramatic embellishments.

― ain't nothin but a brie thing, baby (Neanderthal), Thursday, May 2, 2024 10:56 AM (fifty minutes ago) bookmarkflaglink

that's that the Weird Al movie did and it was actually really funny for doing it

frogbs, Thursday, 2 May 2024 16:50 (one month ago) link

yeah I did enjoy that one a lot

RICH BRIAN (Neanderthal), Thursday, 2 May 2024 16:51 (one month ago) link

I liked this Guardian article about Sex Lives of the Potato Men 20 years on. Maybe it's ready to be rediscovered as a lost Real England masterpiece (NB I have never seen it)

Though still set in Birmingham, due to budget constraints, shooting would mostly be confined to Hayes and Chigwell. If you want to know what London’s orbital edgelands looked like on an overcast weekday in the Blair years, watch this film.

https://www.theguardian.com/film/2024/feb/20/the-worst-film-ever-made-how-sex-lives-of-the-potato-men-broke-british-cinema

Platinum Penguin Pavilion (soref), Thursday, 2 May 2024 16:51 (one month ago) link

The films audiences love to hate can become hilarious and compulsive, but Sex Lives is not one of those films. With its relentlessly tawdry sex jokes and grubby, downcast visuals, the effect is largely queasy and depressive. Across 82 minutes, Crook becomes locked in a barely consensual tryst with his mother-in-law. There’s a misogynistic running joke about fish paste. Gatiss’s character gives up stalking his ex when he finds romance with Julia Davis, culminating in a sequence of the latter picking up dog excrement with her bare hands. Adrian Chiles – who Humphries knew from the BBC – makes a cameo performance as a towel-clad swinger.

Platinum Penguin Pavilion (soref), Thursday, 2 May 2024 16:52 (one month ago) link

Terror of tiny town is basically a b western with midgets. It’s fine. Incredibly strange creatures is enjoyable but not as awesome as the one with tom baker and donald pleasance making hybrid human-plants.

sarahell, Thursday, 2 May 2024 16:53 (one month ago) link

I saw Caligula in its entirety… it’s fine. A bit tedious in parts iirc. Voted Cats.

sarahell, Thursday, 2 May 2024 16:54 (one month ago) link

If you vibe with the slew of weird-ass musicals released in the late '70s/early '80s

This is a pretty big "if".

Instead of create and send out, it pull back and consume (unperson), Thursday, 2 May 2024 16:55 (one month ago) link

the Catwoman movie really was remarkably bad. I caught it on TV once and just could not figure who the target audience was supposed to be. it seemed like it wasn't written for women who liked superhero movies, it was written for women who watched stuff like Sex and the City. they made the main villain the CEO of a cosmetics company! on the other hand, Halle Barry in the Catwoman suit....

frogbs, Thursday, 2 May 2024 16:59 (one month ago) link

The Apple has enough wild musical numbers to be worth seeing, though honestly I started feeling pretty uncomfortable in the last half when you start to realize that all the evil characters are black/gay/gender-non-conforming and the only pure characters are the straight Aryan types.

JoeStork, Thursday, 2 May 2024 17:01 (one month ago) link

There's no way Fatal Deviation should be on this list. It's a tiny film made for about twenty quid by an Irish martial artist, shot on location in a small Irish town. Also it rules.

has ANYBODY seen the Uma Thurman Avengers?

― ain't nothin but a brie thing, baby (Neanderthal), Thursday, May 2, 2024 11:03 AM

Yeah, when it came out. I remember it being bad and forgettable, not so bad it was memorable.

― Ippei's on a bummer now (WmC), Thursday, May 2, 2024 5:29 PM (one hour ago) bookmarkflaglink

It has one good visual gag and Uma Thurman and Ralph Fiennes both look pretty hot in it, but that's all it has going for it, as far as I remember.

trishyb, Thursday, 2 May 2024 17:43 (one month ago) link

I liked this Guardian article about Sex Lives of the Potato Men 20 years on. Maybe it's ready to be rediscovered as a lost Real England masterpiece (NB I have never seen it)

I've seen it and it's utter fucking garbage.

I've left the box of soup near your shoes (Tom D.), Thursday, 2 May 2024 18:15 (one month ago) link

An American Hippie in Israel very relevant right now

American Werewolf in London prequel?

symsymsym, Thursday, 2 May 2024 18:19 (one month ago) link

I've seen it and it's utter fucking garbage.

maybe it just needs to be seen in the right context - double feature with the live action Fat Slags movie (also 2004)

Platinum Penguin Pavilion (soref), Thursday, 2 May 2024 18:26 (one month ago) link

I've seen most of these and there's a lot of low-hanging inept and goofy movies here, but by far North is the most aggressively overstuffed and hateful p.o.s. ever. It's even worse than Inchon

Elvis Telecom, Thursday, 2 May 2024 18:26 (one month ago) link

This titbit from the Guardian article has piqued my interest in ‘Sex Lives of the Potato Men’.

Adrian Chiles – who Humphries knew from the BBC – makes a cameo performance as a towel-clad swinger.

Dan Worsley, Thursday, 2 May 2024 19:00 (one month ago) link

Missed that soref highlighted the same bit!

Dan Worsley, Thursday, 2 May 2024 19:02 (one month ago) link

Gotta go with The Apple, that is one weirdass movie

brimstead, Thursday, 2 May 2024 19:10 (one month ago) link

I’ve read a few reviews of Bat Pussy and it sounds like the experience of watching it would drain me of my will to live.

JoeStork, Thursday, 2 May 2024 19:15 (one month ago) link

The Apple has enough wild musical numbers to be worth seeing, though honestly I started feeling pretty uncomfortable in the last half when you start to realize that all the evil characters are black/gay/gender-non-conforming and the only pure characters are the straight Aryan types.

― JoeStork, Thursday, 2 May 2024 17:01 (two hours ago)


This is certainly a valid concern; but for me (and bearing in mind that it's been years since I watched the film) the movie surrounds its dishwater-dull protagonists with so many outrageous & iconic looks, it really does feel like the camera is "of the Devil's party without knowing it."

The king of the demo (bernard snowy), Thursday, 2 May 2024 20:02 (one month ago) link

Also, the dude who actually sings the title song and is a minion of Mr. Bim is a Chris Atkins-curly haired white dude, so.

Ned Raggett, Thursday, 2 May 2024 20:05 (one month ago) link

by far North is the most aggressively overstuffed and hateful p.o.s. ever

There was never anything to tempt me about this film in any way but I've read the Wikipedia entry once or twice and always think something like "From Spinal Tap to this, eh Rob?"

Ned Raggett, Thursday, 2 May 2024 20:06 (one month ago) link

In an interview during production [of Inchon], Sir Laurence Olivier explained why he agreed to be in the cast:

"People ask me why I'm playing in this picture. The answer is simple; money, dear boy. I'm like a vintage wine. You have to drink me quickly before I turn sour. I'm almost used up now, and I can feel the end coming. That's why I'm taking money now. I've got nothing to leave my family, but the money I can make from films. Nothing is beneath me if it pays well. I've earned the right to damn well grab whatever I can in the time I've got left."

Mrs. Ippei (Steve Shasta), Thursday, 2 May 2024 20:16 (one month ago) link

If I saw Highlander II (and will have to check), it’s the only one of these movies I’ve ever seen.

Marten Broadcloak, mild-mannered GOP congressman (Raymond Cummings), Thursday, 2 May 2024 20:17 (one month ago) link

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kvq-fnjCyeo

This looks like some way out stuff.

Never fight uphill 'o me, boys! (President Keyes), Thursday, 2 May 2024 20:17 (one month ago) link

four weeks pass...

Automatic thread bump. This poll is closing tomorrow.

System, Friday, 31 May 2024 00:01 (two weeks ago) link

The only film I walked out of was "Gold", Roger Moore. Because it was very boring.

Mark G, Friday, 31 May 2024 05:28 (two weeks ago) link

I used to claim that Ecks vs. Sever was the worst movie I'd seen. I wonder if it "holds up"

reggae mike love (polyphonic), Friday, 31 May 2024 05:36 (two weeks ago) link

Ecks vs. Sever is excruciating. It’s not even comedically awful

beamish13, Friday, 31 May 2024 05:57 (two weeks ago) link

Voted Robot Monster, a great work. Good blu edition out now with a 3D capacity that makes some of the directing choices make much more sense.

The Apple has enough wild musical numbers to be worth seeing, though honestly I started feeling pretty uncomfortable in the last half when you start to realize that all the evil characters are black/gay/gender-non-conforming and the only pure characters are the straight Aryan types.
― JoeStork, Thursday, 2 May 2024 17:01 (two hours ago)

Its production came at a moment in the Disco chronology when the producers felt that, as well as cashing in on Disco itself, they should also cash in on the backlash against same, so it has this weird moralistic side to it, it knows you've come for the decadence but also wants to pretend it opposes this decadence. The Sgt Pepper's movie is imo an even more blatant version of this, trying to recast the Lonely Hearts Club Band as some sort of ragtime institution symbolizing America's lost innocence, though unlike The Apple it does pull the "some of my best friends" card by making Earth, Wind & Fire part of the good guys. Both movies are kinda illustrative of this boomer duality, they want the sex and the coke but in the end they wish it was still the 50's.

Daniel_Rf, Friday, 31 May 2024 13:15 (two weeks ago) link

ctrl+f "Battlefield Earth", 0/0 results

😑

fpsa, Friday, 31 May 2024 14:18 (two weeks ago) link

making Earth, Wind & Fire part of the good guys.

thus giving us their "got to get you into my life", the one good thing to come out of that film

nobody ever talks about the predecessor film, the "disco beatlemania" to _sgt. pepper's_ "stars on 45" - _all this and world war ii_, a compilation of 1940s newsreel footage set to covers of beatles songs

it even prominently features the bee gees on the soundtrack

i've never actually seen _all this_ or _sgt. pepper's_. casting the hottest disco group in the country as 3/4 of a "ragtime institution symbolizing America's lost innocence" in opposition to the hedonistic degeneracy of disco is certainly a... creative decision. because there's nothing more american than the beatles. not even the bee gees.

they want the sex and the coke but in the end they wish it was still the 50's.

― Daniel_Rf

also weird: the boomer belief that sex wasn't invented until 1967.

_the apple_ really gives me heaven's gate vibes. the ufo cult, not _other_ 1980 critically reviled film. it seems like the kind of film that would inspire someone to _really commit_ to america's lost innocence by, say, getting an orchiectomy. which is another weird thing to me. i know a lot of people who've had orchis, and the idea that getting an orchi is somehow an act of _chastity_ is utterly bizarre to me. in fairness, a lot of us also boof prog. i'm gonna go out on a limb and say that marshall herff applewhite never boofed prog.

-

if i hadn't voted for _fatal deviation_ i would probably have gone with _robot monster_.

Kate (rushomancy), Friday, 31 May 2024 14:25 (two weeks ago) link

By a quick count I think I've seen 6 of these in their original release? Am tempted to vote Cats bc of how much fun it was to see in a rowdy theater. But at the end of the day my heart belongs to Robot Monster

waste of compute (One Eye Open), Friday, 31 May 2024 14:42 (two weeks ago) link

It’s me, the only person on ILX who liked the Thurman/Fiennes Avengers movie

Cemetry Gaetz (DJP), Friday, 31 May 2024 14:45 (two weeks ago) link

I also liked Cafwoman but was primarily for Halle Berry in that costume

Cemetry Gaetz (DJP), Friday, 31 May 2024 14:47 (two weeks ago) link

thus giving us their "got to get you into my life", the one good thing to come out of that film

Also arguably one of the few (only?) Beatles covers better than the original

Rich E. (Eric H.), Friday, 31 May 2024 15:16 (two weeks ago) link

Stevie Wonder's "We Can Work It Out" wants a word.

the talented mr pimply (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Friday, 31 May 2024 15:23 (two weeks ago) link

Bat Pussy, a female superhero, defends Gothum City from a middle-aged couple making a pornographic film.

Porn parodies appear to have completely defied evolution.

papal hotwife (milo z), Friday, 31 May 2024 15:37 (two weeks ago) link

The worst movie I've ever seen (strictly from the standpoint of viewing some incredible ineptitude) was the Jeremy Irons/Thora Birch "Dungeons And Dragons" movie from 1999 or thereabouts

Of this list, I genuinely think "Myra Breckenridge" is a fantastic film and a terrific adaptation and never understood why people hated on it so much, it has a proto-Oliver Stone vibe

frociaggine e figaggine (flamboyant goon tie included), Friday, 31 May 2024 16:40 (two weeks ago) link

See also Skidoo, in that vein

Rich E. (Eric H.), Friday, 31 May 2024 17:14 (two weeks ago) link

^ classic for the end credits alone

worst 'real' movie I've ever seen, in terms of "i can't believe something this amateurish is in general theatrical release", i think has got to still be Whatever Works, a movie so bad I couldnt bear to walk out

waste of compute (One Eye Open), Friday, 31 May 2024 17:24 (two weeks ago) link

I saw Crash on video and Me and You and Everyone We Know within a couple months of one another back in '05 and I don't think anything I've seen since has come within spitting distance of that double-header of awful.

Great-Tasting Burger Perceptions (Old Lunch), Friday, 31 May 2024 17:29 (two weeks ago) link

Whatever Works was definitely weird and awkward... iirc it was shot from a screenplay dating back to the 1960s which would partially explain it.

Josefa, Friday, 31 May 2024 17:32 (two weeks ago) link

Also arguably one of the few (only?) Beatles covers better than the original

― Rich E. (Eric H.)

oh no watch out this is one of my special interests. i spent several years compiling my favorite cover of every beatles original released under the beatles name between 1962 and 1970. not all of them are "better than the original" but a lot of them are!

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Porn parodies appear to have completely defied evolution.

― papal hotwife (milo z)

almost like people don't _actually_ watch porn for the lulz

Kate (rushomancy), Friday, 31 May 2024 18:09 (two weeks ago) link

as a rick sloane fan, hobgoblins the easy choice for me.

andrew m., Friday, 31 May 2024 18:20 (two weeks ago) link

worst 'real' movie I've ever seen, in terms of "i can't believe something this amateurish is in general theatrical release", i think has got to still be Whatever Works, a movie so bad I couldnt bear to walk out

― waste of compute (One Eye Open), Friday, 31 May 2024 18:24 (three hours ago) bookmarkflaglink

Whatever Works was definitely weird and awkward... iirc it was shot from a screenplay dating back to the 1960s which would partially explain it.

― Josefa, Friday, 31 May 2024 18:32 (two hours ago) bookmarkflaglink

there are several late period Woody Allen films that are weird like this, but I don't think anything can top Cassandra's Dream (2007), where it's particularly jarring because it's meant to be a serious drama rather than a light comedy - every single element of it feels 'off', almost like an Ed Wood movie.

(I don't know how much of this is specific to being from the UK and the films version of the UK seeming wrong in a million small ways. It seems like the film received fairly positive reviews in the US?)

Platinum Penguin Pavilion (soref), Friday, 31 May 2024 20:51 (two weeks ago) link

voted for Mommie Dearest, which is a fascinating film in retrospect that appears to have destroyed Faye Dunaway's career

Dan S, Friday, 31 May 2024 23:21 (two weeks ago) link

It’s a shame that people discuss Mommie Dearest more than the truly brilliant films Frank Perry made like Last Summer, Ladybug Ladybug, Doc (also with Faye Dunaway, and easily the most underrated western of the 70’s), Diary of a Mad Housewife, and Play it as it Lays

beamish13, Friday, 31 May 2024 23:29 (two weeks ago) link

I think THE SWIMMER probably rates a tiny bit higher in the cinephile circles than MOMMIE

Rich E. (Eric H.), Friday, 31 May 2024 23:33 (two weeks ago) link

I just saw The Swimmer on Criterion, had never even heard of it before... definitely Burt Lancaster's most impressive performance

Andy the Grasshopper, Friday, 31 May 2024 23:36 (two weeks ago) link

I liked Frank Perry's David and Lisa but it felt very underbaked, and I liked Carrie Snodgrass in Diary of a Mad Housewife (although, was there ever a more early-70s film?)

The Swimmer with Burt Lancaster is his greatest achievement I think, it is at turns aspirational, absurd, and allegorical, with beautiful cinematography (I have to believe Slim Aarons was influenced by him) and is maybe the perfect 1968 film

Dan S, Friday, 31 May 2024 23:49 (two weeks ago) link

(I posted that before remembering that my favorite film of all time was from 1968)

Dan S, Friday, 31 May 2024 23:57 (two weeks ago) link

Automatic thread bump. This poll's results are now in.

System, Saturday, 1 June 2024 00:01 (one week ago) link

MOMMIE DEAREST and ISHTAR should run away with this

― Rich E. (Eric H.), Thursday, May 30, 2024 5:54 PM (yesterday)

Nailed it!

Andy the Grasshopper, Saturday, 1 June 2024 00:32 (one week ago) link

I still need to see Exorcist II: The Heretic.

From Dave Kehr's original capsule review for the Chicago Reader:

"Everybody seems to hate this movie, and not without good reason. But John Boorman’s 1977 follow-up to William Friedkin’s shocker is a much more interesting film than the original, and Boorman deserves credit for trying out some new ideas, even if most of them backfire. Visually, it’s fascinating—sort of a blend of Minnellian baroque and Buñuelian absurdity—but the dialogue is childish, the story is incomprehensible, and the metaphysics are ridiculous. Still, an audacious failure is preferable to a chickenhearted success. More than worth a look, if only out of curiosity"

And of course Scorsese's take:

“The picture asks: Does great goodness bring upon itself great evil? This goes back to the Book of Job; it's God testing the good. In this sense, Regan (Linda Blair) is a modern-day saint — like Ingrid Bergman in Europa '51, and, in a way, like Charlie in Mean Streets. I like the first Exorcist, because of the Catholic guilt I have, and because it scared the hell out of me; but The Heretic surpasses it. Maybe Boorman failed to execute the material, but the movie still deserved better than it got.”

birdistheword, Saturday, 1 June 2024 01:22 (one week ago) link

nobody else voted for things?!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AqwUqHmHSoY

(⊙_⊙?) (original bgm), Saturday, 1 June 2024 01:22 (one week ago) link

The Sgt Pepper's movie is imo an even more blatant version of this, trying to recast the Lonely Hearts Club Band as some sort of ragtime institution symbolizing America's lost innocence,

I'm sure I've told the story already of going to see this at a late night show in a cinema in Dublin. After about twenty minutes, people started to walk out. By the time my boyfriend and I gave up on it after half an hour, there was a small queue at the box office looking for refunds. The staff apologised to everyone, acknowledged that they had booked the film without knowing anything about it, and gave us vouchers. They said they couldn't give a refund because there was nothing technically wrong with the screening.

trishyb, Saturday, 1 June 2024 09:18 (one week ago) link

I liked Carrie Snodgrass in Diary of a Mad Housewife (although, was there ever a more early-70s film?)

Quite true. Frank Langella!

the talented mr pimply (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Saturday, 1 June 2024 09:55 (one week ago) link

My previous take on Sgt. Pepper's, in part:

'If the Voyager space probe had contained only the Beatles discography and was discovered by meth-head aliens who mistakenly believed that these albums comprised the root of earthling communication, this movie would be their attempt at a response. And it would be difficult to interpret their message as anything but a veiled threat.'

Also I forgot Things was in the running! Probably should've thrown a vote it's way.

Great-Tasting Burger Perceptions (Old Lunch), Saturday, 1 June 2024 11:38 (one week ago) link

I'm glad to say that everything I would've championed received at least one vote. Except Turkish Star Wars, dang it. Love that deranged piece of copyright infringement so much.

Great-Tasting Burger Perceptions (Old Lunch), Saturday, 1 June 2024 11:41 (one week ago) link

Here's how I'd rank those that I've seen:

Not even bad or weird, just good movies:
Robot Monster (1953)
Ishtar (1987)
Mommie Dearest (1981)

Delightfully weird or inept:
The Apple (1980)
Myra Breckinridge (1970)
Things (1989)
Dünyayı Kurtaran Adam (The Man Who Saves the World) (1982)
An American Hippie in Israel (1972)

Made zero lasting impression whatsoever:
Highlander II: The Quickening (theatrical version, 1991)
Catwoman (2004)
The Last Airbender (2010)

Actual crimes:
North (1994)
Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever (2002)

reggae mike love (polyphonic), Saturday, 1 June 2024 17:14 (one week ago) link

I really need to see those last two crime movies

This was a good poll!

gerfume penius (flamboyant goon tie included), Saturday, 1 June 2024 17:35 (one week ago) link

Burt Lancaster is excellent in The Swimmer, but I’m not sure if I’d put his performance in it above what he delivered in Conversation Piece, Local Hero, Ulzanna’s Raid, or Brute Force. He was the most unconventional and fearless actor of his generation by far

Seriously, though-how can you not see Last Summer? I saw the only 16mm print of it in existence at a screening with the great Barbara Hershey. It is just devastating. Play It As It Lays is an incredible adaptation of Joan Didion’s novel, and Tuesday Weld is amazing

beamish13, Saturday, 1 June 2024 17:38 (one week ago) link

Was it the uncut version? I've seen Last Summer a couple of times (on actual VHS rental, on bootleg, on TCM) and was never certain if I ever saw the original X version. But yeah the ending is devastating whether cut or not. Wish Cathy Burns had more of a career, not to mention a happier life.

gjoon1, Saturday, 1 June 2024 19:25 (one week ago) link

Sadly still the case (taken from frank perry, film director):

Warner Archive used to--might still--field questions about projects on their Facebook page. They have the rights to Last Summer, and it seemed like every month they got a query about their ongoing restoration efforts. IIRC, they were basically making a new master culled from different sources--The Aussie 16 mm print (which is indeed the most complete surviving celluloid copy), a tape master which has the cut footage, and various and sundry negative/positive elements--none of which were in the greatest of shape thank s to both the shoestring nature of the production and original distributor Allied Artists poorly maintained archives.

― to fly across the city and find Aerosmith's car (C. Grisso/McCain), Monday, June 5, 2017 2:46 PM (six years ago) bookmarkflaglink

Ah I should have voted Things, it's genuinely otherworldly, almost everything in it is incompetent at a level where you wonder how it could even have been completed, but at the same time it really achieves something beyond 99% of 'bad movies.' It looks like it was filmed in Hell.

A review on Letterboxd of Bat Pussy:

Commonly called "the first porn parody" as well as "the worst porn movie of all time," this Texas-shot oddity is about as meagre as you can get and still have something to project on a screen. The loose plot involves "Buddy" and "Sam," a squabbling couple who bicker, argue, and insult each other while also drowsily, sloppily going down on each other. Sample dialogue: "I've sucked on them tittes for the last fucking time. I been suckin' on them mother fuckers for the nast, last nine years." Meanwhile, across town in her secret hideout, "Dora Dildo" gets "a twitch in her twat" that tells her that fucking is happening in Gotham City. So she puts on a ratty Batgirl costume and becomes "Bat Pussy," and travels slowly along the side of a highway on a hippity-hop to interrupt Buddy and Sam's flaccid lovemaking. Eventually she arrives in their home and hops in their marital bed, and the three of them writhe around together in a big pile of pockmarked flesh. Words cannot do justice to what this actually looks like, except to note that the Blu-Ray clarity reveals Buddy's diaper-rash in all its glory. It ends after a little more than 50 minutes, and you will not be begging for more.

There is one fun moment where Sam and Bat Pussy fall out of bed in a very awkward and possibly painful way and start cracking up. I liked seeing them break kayfabe for a few seconds.

There are a lot of pornos that you could call "not very sexy," but very few where it's this difficult to imagine anyone, anywhere being able to jerk off to it. The director and actors are still unknown, so there's no one who can really explain it, giving this movie a powerful sense of mystery. The Blu-Ray does include an excellent new commentary by Melinda Belles and Dennis Campa, two Texas exploitation film experts who know everything it's currently possible to know about it, which is not a whole lot.

In conclusion: this is a great film that belongs in every home video library.

JoeStork, Saturday, 1 June 2024 20:18 (one week ago) link

Lancaster's best performance is in Atlantic City, though he was already on fire for a lot of the '70s.

the talented mr pimply (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Saturday, 1 June 2024 20:19 (one week ago) link

...And 50s/60s. He was also great in From Here To Eternity (1954), The Birdman of Alcatraz (1963), and The Leopard (1963)

xxxp I would love to see Last Summer, but it is not available right now

Dan S, Saturday, 1 June 2024 23:17 (one week ago) link

Agreed.

beamish13 otm about Lancaster. A fascinating, conflicted guy, equipped with a superior intelligence. He loved Lampedusa's novel so much that he handed out inscribed copies to friends for years. I can think of few American movie stars with his beauty who accepted the toll of age and chose roles late in life without vanity.

the talented mr pimply (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Saturday, 1 June 2024 23:19 (one week ago) link

ok i'm not gonna watch _myra breckenridge_ but i _am_ going to watch youtuber evasive getting a bunch of trans women at her house with bagel bites and making _them_ watch _myra breckenridge_.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=spzGWwxY9rM

ok she "attempts to introduce femdom into the curriculum"? honestly, i would do this, BECAUSE GODDAMN WE NEED SOME FUCKING DOMINANT TRANS WOMEN OUT THERE, everybody wants to be a puppygirl these days

Kate (rushomancy), Wednesday, 5 June 2024 03:36 (one week ago) link

Kate I think you’d love that film tbh

frociaggine e figaggine (flamboyant goon tie included), Wednesday, 5 June 2024 13:44 (one week ago) link

There may be an argument on behalf of Mae West's appearances in Myra and Sextette being filed under theoretical dominant trans readings

Rich E. (Eric H.), Wednesday, 5 June 2024 13:49 (one week ago) link

Kate I think you’d love that film tbh

― frociaggine e figaggine (flamboyant goon tie included)

idk the bit where breckinridge rapes a dude for ten minutes straight might be a little much for me. i got a hard time with cinematic depictions of sexual assault.

There may be an argument on behalf of Mae West's appearances in Myra and Sextette being filed under theoretical dominant trans readings

― Rich E. (Eric H.)

see i see mae west as being camp as hell but not _trans_ particularly

well, more than that... i'm an older queer femme who's trying to figure out how to express my sexuality, and whatever that might look like, it doesn't look anything like mae west. to be clear i haven't seen _myra breckenridge_ or _sextette_ but her performance in both of them seem like mae west being mae west, and it's impossible to _not_ know what mae west is about.

i just don't perform dominance in the way west does. everything she says is a _suggestive double entendre_. and then myra breckinridge rapes a dude for ten minutes straight. she's not there for that, of course, because she's too fragile and threatened to be in the same room as raquel welch. that's the thing... it's hard for me to read west as an older woman confident in her sexuality. easier for me to read her as a woman who's over the hill right now and looking for love.

when it comes to art i do tend to engage with it paratextually. mostly i think this is because i am a Highly Sensitive Person and engaging with stuff directly tends to fuck me up emotionally. i do prefer paratext, mediated secondary sources. particularly i don't like engaging with art by myself, that _really_ fucks me up. fictional stuff, i usually only watch that around other people. idk, eric, you keep on top of this stuff, let me know if there's a local showing of myra breckinridge. i bet someone would show it here if they had a print. apparently church of film is showing a japanese movie called "bye bye love" tonight. i might check that one out.

reading trans representation in older media is difficult. most trans readings of media are either imposing trans narratives on media that isn't intentionally trans or else in some sense subverting the intended message. the interesting thing for me is that evasive says that the rape scene comes directly from the book, but i don't know if the _intent_ is the same. the context. per evasive, both vidal and sarne, the film's director, say that the film was one of those adaptations that's _against_ the source material. i am very fond of this idea, that of a film that's directly hostile to its source material. the most obvious example i can think of is "starship troopers". in this case, though, sarne's intent is apparently patriarchal and cishet - from what i can tell the redeeming feature of the film is its fundamental incoherence.

which yeah is my thing. i do prefer films to be narratively incoherent.

-

ok, here's the best case i can make for that rape scene. again, not having seen the film, talking about it entirely _in theory_

the most powerful queer act is that of _queering_. it is fundamentally a transgressive act however one does it, because being queer is _not normal_ under patriarchy. there's this very powerful cishet fear of being "turned" queer, of being "made" queer. however tempting that fantasy is to me, it doesn't actually work like that. i can't turn someone queer any more than decades of cishet propaganda could turn me straight. it made me very miserable for a very long time, it taught me to hate myself, but it didn't turn me straight. "queering", to me, is a type of deprogramming. i feel like a lot of people have the _potential_ to be queer, and "queering" is the act of making implicit queerness explicit. that's at the heart of a lot of camp, i think, why camp is such a strongly queer practice. "hey, have you ever considered that batman and robin are maybe kind of gay?" that kind of thing. this is easier to do with works that don't have a strong and compelling textual narrative - if i'm gripped by the story a piece of media is _trying_ to tell, i'm not going to take time to stop and wonder if it might actually be gay.

a big part of the transfem narrative is that for a lot of people their gateway to gender exploration is something called "force fem", which falls under the category of "consensual non-consent". and nominally this sort of thing reinforces patriarchal norms that see womanhood as being inferior or degrading. by giving people experiences outside of the realm of what's acceptable under patriarchy, though, it can open the door to challenge those patriarchal norms.

so something can, in one way, be a powerful means of deconstructing the ways individuals have been affected by patriarchal oppression, and in another way be really traumatic and really fuck someone up. i didn't ever do force fem myself, but i have been traumatized in my own ways by the ways in which i tried to come to terms with my gender identity and am still trying to come to terms with whatever the fuck my sexuality is.

i somehow doubt that this is what sarne is trying to express with that scene, but my understanding is that sarne's attempt to express anything at all in that film perhaps opens up the film to alternate readings.

i kinda want to turn this into an essay at some point and tie it in with some other stuff i've been working through but my level of functioning isn't quite up to that right now, oh well

Kate (rushomancy), Wednesday, 5 June 2024 17:38 (one week ago) link

There may be an argument on behalf of Mae West's appearances in Myra and Sextette being filed under theoretical dominant trans readings

― Rich E. (Eric H.), Wednesday, June 5, 2024 9:49 AM (eight hours ago) bookmarkflaglink

There may be an argument on behalf of Mae West's entire career being filed under theoretical dominant trans readings. Which might be overly reductive. That said, I do see her as an extreme branch of mainstream 20th century entertainment that connects her to more underground performers like Dwight Fiske or Ray/Rae Bourbon (he may not have been literally transgender, but he made a career of it).

(Disclaimer: I haven't seen Sextette and have only seen a YouTube supercut of West's scenes in MB.)

Infanta Terrible (j.lu), Wednesday, 5 June 2024 22:26 (one week ago) link

"has ANYBODY seen the Uma Thurman Avengers?"

I actually went to see this at the cinema when it came out. The film was terrible but it had a fairly extensive advertising campaign based almost entirely around Uma Thurman in a leather catsuit. This was a period when I went to see pretty much every major or minor action blockbuster. I learn from the internet that it was released on 14 August 1998, and looking at the UK box-office that week I recognise Armageddon, Lost in Space, and Godzilla, which I also went to see at the cinema. I had such refined taste back then. Where did it go wrong.

You really can't appreciate how much The Matrix felt like a breath of fresh air compared to the shower of crap that came before it.

I saw each of those films once at the cinema and never again. I've never revisited them. What do I remember about The Avengers? There's a point where Mrs Peel uses a code phrase - "how now brown cow" - in a telephone box, but the film didn't explain how she knew the code. I vaguely remember that the plot was about weather satellites. And I had almost completely forgotten that Sean Connery was the villain. Does he say "now is the winter of our discontent" at some point?

I wonder if that film had a second life as raw material for fake Kingsman / James Bond trailers. Given the fact it had Ralph Fiennes in a suit. I also learn from the internet that Ralph Fiennes is related to a man called Hero Beauregard Faulkner Twisleton-Wykeham-Fiennes Tiffin, an actual real man who really exists.

I still think about Ronin every so often. That film was a couple of years ahead of its time. Many years from now I'll be able to explain to the few survivors of the apocalypse that Jean Reno existed and was a thing. This has nothing to do with The Avengers, I just thought about it.

Ashley Pomeroy, Friday, 7 June 2024 20:53 (one week ago) link


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